The French art of aperitif-drinking is a custom to be enthusiastically embraced by all visitors to Paris. Pre-drinks in a characterful bar to sample something delicious and local, with tasty snacks on the side, is the only way to kick-start an evening in the City of Light.

Here, we’ve got some of the most typically Parisian venues to help you feel at home in no time.

  • La Point du Grouin

    8, rue de Belzunce, 75010

    Brittany is beautifully represented at this quirky restaurant, so you’ll get a guaranteed slice of real France here – ‘groin’ means pig snout and there’s plenty of this on the menu, as well as sausage pancakes and oysters.

    There are no reservations and they use their own currency once you’re inside (1 groin = 1 euro) to submerge guests in the culture of the restaurant. For pre-drinks, you’ll be shown the wine cellar personally and served your choice from a magnum bottle.

  • Comptoir Général

    80 quai de Jemmapes, 10e

    Eclectic, mismatched and a haven for all things retro, this cosy sanctuary is the ideal place to hunker down and find a comfy corner for a drink and gossip before a big night out (if you can bear to tear yourself away).

    Its bizarre collection of artefacts and oddities make it partly a museum as well as a bar and its food and drink is just as varied. The menu takes global inspiration from the Caribbean, Africa and Asia – think tiki punch cocktails, bo buns and fried plantain.

  • Lockwood

    73 Rue d'Aboukir, 75002 Paris

    If you want to stake out a place to spend a whole afternoon into evening, this basement bar is the place to do it.

    By day, this is a chilled out café with potent coffee, but by night it becomes a moody, clandestine Italian aperitivo. Sip a perfect Aperol Spritz or Negroni by candlelight as you dive into delicious appetisers like Italian charcuterie, homemade hummus and pickles (included in the price of your drinks after 6pm).

  • Frenchie Bar a Vins

    6, rue du Nil 75002 Paris

    Whilst the Frenchie restaurant can be difficult to book into, the wine bar is far more accessible.

    With the tasting dishes available, you won’t mind foregoing the formal dinner reservations anyway, with delicious antipasti such as Provençal terrine, white asparagus, fresh cockles and smoked trout on the menu. This bar boasts a selection of French regional wines from artisanal producers so choose something you haven’t tried before – the staff are only too happy to make recommendations.

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